Vulcano, Aeolian Islands: where it is, when to go and what to see

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

Among the Aeolian islands, Vulcano is the closest to Sicily (it is just 12 miles from Capo Milazzo). It owes its name to the fact that its existence is due to merger of some volcanoes: Vulcano della Fossa, the largest, also known as the Gran Cratere, 386 meters high; Vulcanello, 123 meters, Monte Aria, 500 meters and Monte Saraceno, 481 meters.

Small jewel of the Mediterranean, the island is perhaps the one that best represents the perfect balance between nature and human settlement.
His are very famous Thermal waters and sulphurous waters, a natural paradise on a human scale where you can enjoy countless benefits.

The ancient Hierà (the sacred one), ancient name of Vulcano, is, together with Stromboli, one of the most fascinating destinations for travelers from all over the world for its volcanic phenomena, frequent and easily visible!
Here's where Vulcan is, when to go and what to see!


  1. Where it is
  2. How to get to Vulcano and how to get around
  3. When to go? Info on climate and best time
  4. 10 things to see: beaches and places of interest
  5. Where to eat in Vulcano: the best restaurants
  6. Nightlife: what to do in the evening in Vulcano
  7. How much does a holiday in Vulcano cost? Prices, offers and advice
  8. User questions and comments

Where it is

Island belonging to the archipelago of the Aeolian Islands, in Sicily. Located 20 km north of Sicily (Gulf of Patti, Tyrrhenian Sea), it is the southernmost and closest to Italy. Administered by the municipality of Lipari, the island extends for about 21 square kilometers.

How to get to Vulcano and how to get around

  • By plane: the reference airport is the Fontana Rossa di Catania and from there it is necessary to reach Milazzo (130 km) to embark and reach the island (flights from € 46,00)
  • By sea: the main maritime connections are operated by Liberty lines (hydrofoils all year round from Milazzo and seasonal from Palermo), SNS (ferries all year round from Milazzo) and SNAV (seasonal hydrofoils from Naples). Average duration: 45 minutes by hydrofoil, 1 hour and a half by ferry, € 14,00 and € 35,00
  • How to get around in Vulcano: with an extension of about 21 sq km, it can be easily explored on foot. Alternatively, they are also great with a scooter or a bicycle

When to go? Info on climate and best time

  • Weather: Mediterranean, with mild and relatively rainy winters; there is no lack of sunny periods. Summers are hot and sunny, a bit muggy but tempered by the breeze. In winter, the wind increases the perception of cold
  • Best time: from June to August for seaside holidays; May and September are perfect for hiking
  • Period to avoid: it is a purely summer destination. From October to March the days are shorter and the risk of rain increases
  • Advice: casual clothing, comfortable shoes, sweatshirt or sweater for the evening, excursions and evening boat trips. Umbrella or rain cover for the fall / winter semester

10 things to see: beaches and places of interest

  1. Climb to the Crater, a path that follows the entire side of the mountain and from where you can admire the best views of the archipelago. The route is challenging but the surrounding landscape is truly impressive.
  2. Crater of the Fossa, a large chasm that offers an impressive spectacle, among clouds of boiling sulphurous vapors which, emerging from the earth, color the stone with yellow ocher and red.
  3. Valley of the Monsters, a valley characterized by rocks that recall the profiles of animals, monstrous or wild figures. Effect amplified by the suggestive twilight of the post sunset.
  4. Donkey beach, an intimate and quiet black sand cove by day, worldly by night. Reachable by taxi boat or along a steep descent on foot between brooms and prickly pears. The only equipped beach on the island.
  5. Black Beaches, a real must on the island of Vulcano, appreciated all over the world. Crystalline sea that mirrors suggestive beaches of fine black sand.
  6. Fumarole beach, owes its name to the presence of water heated by sulphurous steam. The immersion in these warm waters is due to the presence of small and large underwater gas springs.
  7. Gelso beach, dominated by a suggestive lighthouse, has a limpid and transparent sea. Easily reachable also by car and motorbike, as well as from the Black Beaches, with numerous boats leaving every day to and from this beach.
  8. Grotta del Cavallo or Grotta dell'Eremita, presents itself with passages consisting of galleries, wells, lakes and formations of stalactites, stalagmites and cannulae. Reachable only by sea; many fishermen who offer themselves for a boat trip.
  9. Venus pool, tuff and basalt pools with shallow crystalline waters and turquoise shades.
    A natural amphitheater reachable by sea thanks to the numerous fishing boats that set sail from the beaches of the Ponente bay.
  10. Antica via reale ('a strada vecchia), was built at the time of Emperor Ferdinand of Bourbon to allow him to travel the island from Vulcano Porto to the Gelso district. Today it is a destination for trekking enthusiasts.

Where to eat in Vulcano: the best restaurants

  1. Prickly pear Pane Cunzato and Aeolian flavors: quaint little restaurant. Specialty is the cunzatu bread rich in fresh, tasty and top quality local ingredients.
    Average price per person: € 25,00
    Address and contacts: via Anna Magnani pedestrian area (Get directions) / tel: 335 760 9452
  2. La Forgia Maurizio Restaurant: cozy restaurant in oriental style. Excellent, quality and refined food. Homemade bread. Specialties: soups, omelettes and Aeolian pasta.
    Average price per person: € 30,00
    Address and contacts: provincial road, 45 (Get directions) / tel: 334 766 0069
  3. Gaetano: splendid location with terrace facing the sea, in a quiet, secluded and slightly hilly position. Very fresh fish.
    Average price per person: € 60,00
    Address and contacts: Gelso provincial road (Get directions) / tel: 347 721 6532

Nightlife: what to do in the evening in Vulcano

Together with Lipari and Panarea, it is one of the most animated Elie islands. Not surprisingly, already in the 60s and early 70s the most famous italian actors and artists such as Pasolini, Moravia, Enrico Maria Salerno, Mike Bongiorno, Walter Chiari, Gino Paoli gathered in Vulcano ...

For an aperitif at sunset, the meeting point of the "young" population is the black sand beach at Bar da Conti A 'Zammara'. The party then continues in the various clubs on the island that satisfy all tastes. The choice varies between historic and very famous places such as the Stevenson Cellars.

The best pubs, clubs and discos

  • Bar da Conti A 'Zammara': pizzeria-meeting point, reference point for all hours. Happy hour, DJ set with beachhouse lounge and open buffet on one of the most suggestive beaches
    Address: via Riccardo Conti, 8 (Get directions)
  • The Castle: renowned for its evenings of live music on its large terrace where the best known genres mix with the musical traditions of the Sicilian land. A privileged place even for VIPs.
    Address: contrada porto Levante (Get directions)
  • Il Covo: small room with tables made from barrels. Unique in quality and variety of spirits and beers, unsurpassed hambugers.
    Address: via porto Levante (Get directions)

How much does a holiday in Vulcano cost? Prices, offers and advice

The island of Vulcano, especially in summer, is one very popular destination. And this can lead to higher prices.
If you are forced to travel in high season, we suggest you play in advance by booking your flight several months in advance: numerous low-cost flights depart from various Italian airports starting from € 46,00.

For the stay, a room in a mid-range hotel costs around € 60,00 / 70,00. You can save money by staying in a rented apartment.

The island you can easily walk around, but it is also possible to rent a scooter (from € 15,00 per day).

An unmissable must is theexcursion to the Crater: starting from € 28,00.
To eat, fish restaurants have medium-high prices; however, there is no shortage of pizzerias and rotisseries, much cheaper.

  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 54,00 per room -
  • starting from € 46,00 -
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